Mistakes Germans Make when Speaking EnglishJul 15th, 2009 | By Marc | Category: English
The mistakes Germans typically make when speaking English are quite conspicuous, yet not fatal. The base of these common mistakes essentially lies within the German accent, picked up on by many comedians. Usually the mistakes are divided into grammatical mistakes and pronunciation mistakes.
The most difficult word for Germans in the English language is probably ‘the’ and the ‘th’ sound in general. Tired tongues and beginners simply replace the ‘th’ with ‘s’.
Grammarwise there are also some drastic mistakes due to credulously translated words. The concept of ‘for’ and ‘since’ and its use is difficult to handle for Germans. This is because German only has one word to express periods and points of time.
Furthermore, Germans seem to have trouble with the concept of conditional phrases, as they mix up ‘if’ and ‘when’ due to the same reason as ‘for’ and ‘since’. In German, the direct translation means the same word.
Also, some Germans struggle with the non-existence of plurals for some words, such as ‘information’. The word ‘news’ comes under the same category, as it does not have a singular form.
Syntax and structure are essentially the same in English and German, hence few mistakes are made here. However, the mistakes Germans make are not severe, yet can be quite obvious.